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Best 6 Repellents to Eliminate Boll Weevil
Weevils are everywhere. There are over 60,000 different species of these tiny beetles, all with different feeding habits, and many of them can cause significant harm to humans. One example of this is the infamous boll weevil, which decimated cotton crops as it spread from Mexico into the southern United States in the 19th and early twentieth centuries. Despite massive efforts to eradicate this pest, boll weevils are still very much with us, and are estimated to cause up to $300 million worth of damage to cotton crops each year. These insects may be small, but the damage that they can cause and the economic impact they have is anything but.
Fortunately, unless you are a cotton grower, you are very unlikely to ever have to deal with an infestation of boll weevil. But of the thousands of species of weevil out there, chances are good that you will run into them sooner or later. It might be in your garden, where weevils will happily feed on your plants and destroy them once their population gets big enough. It may even be inside your home, where rice and granary weevils are content to live out their entire life cycle inside your stored dry foods. Whatever the species of weevil you’re dealing with, you may well find yourself wanting to know how to get rid of these stubborn pests. With that in mind, take a look over our weevil repellent buying guide. No matter what your weevil problem is, there should be a product out there for you.
1. Weevil Away Scented Pad
Bay leaves are a known weevil repellent. There’s something about the smell of bay leaves that makes weevils want to get far away from the aromatic herb. Weevil Away Scented Pads are adhesive pads that use the weevil-repelling properties of bay leaves to drive the weevils out of your home.
The idea is simple. You simply stick these pads in your kitchen cabinets, around the dry food items that you are trying to protect. Because these pads contain no pesticides, they are safe for your children and pets and will not contaminate your food. All they do is emit a smell which the manufacturers claim is a mixture of bay, spruce and mint oils.
The manufacturers also claim that these pads will be effective against other pests such as cockroaches and pantry moths. Whether that is true or not, it is known that the smell of bay is repellent to weevils.
These pads are designed to be used indoors, to protect your kitchen cabinets from infestation by weevils. If, on the other hand, your weevil problem is outdoors, among the plants in your garden, this may not be the product for you. While reviews state that the smell of these pads is quite strong, they are not designed to be used outdoors and may not be effective.
But if it’s the interior of your home that you are trying to protect from weevils, it might be worth giving these pads a try. Since they are pesticide free and completely non-toxic, at least you know that trying them won’t do any harm. And if they keep the weevils away from your dried goods, you will be glad that you spent the money on this easy to use product.
2. Prescription Treatment PI
As the name of this product implies, this is a commercial-grade pesticide. More than strictly a repellent, this product is made to kill weevils on contact, and also provide residual protection in the areas that it is sprayed in to prevent weevils from coming back.
The active ingredient in Prescription Treatment PI is a chemical called pyrethrins. This is the definition of a broad spectrum insecticide. Not only will this spray kill weevils on contact, but it is also effective against Angoumois Grain Moths, Ants, Bed Bugs, Carpet Beetles, Centipedes, Cockroaches, Confused Flour Beetles, Crickets, Drug Store Beetles, Earwigs, Fleas, Flies, Fruit Flies, Gnats, Grain Mites, Granary Weevils, Horn Flies, House Flies, Indian Meal Moths, Mediterranean Flour Moths, Millipedes, Mosquitoes, Mud Daubers, Red Flour Beetles, Rice Weevils, Sawtoothed Grain Beetles, Silverfish, Small Flying Moths, Sowbugs, Spiders, Stable Flies, Ticks and Wasps. So as you can see, it is a useful spray to have around the home.
Another great thing about this product is that it is labeled for use both indoors and outdoors. So whether you’re finding weevils in your kitchen cabinets or on your strawberry plants in your garden, this pesticide can be used to kill large numbers of weevils and repel others from infesting your property.
Like all pesticides, it is important to read the label carefully before use. It is possible when using powerful chemicals like this to make yourself sick, and then you will have bigger problems than weevils.
The downside of this product is that it is a chemical insecticide. Not everyone feels comfortable with using these products, especially in areas where it may come into contact with food. Although Prescription Treatment PI is labeled for use in food preparation areas, many people are unwilling to use it in the kitchen they use to feed their families. And that’s exactly where the weevils are likely to be. Also, if used outside, you may find that this product kills not only weevils but also a lot of other bugs in your garden. This can be counter productive. Animals such as spiders and ants eat weevils, and are your best allies in keeping weevils out of your plants. You don’t want to harm the population of beneficial bugs like these in your garden if you can help it.
Another downside of this product is that it is extremely strong smelling. If it is being used indoors, you may find it necessary to vacate the area after spraying to allow the fumes to clear out. There’s no doubt that Prescription Treatment PI is effective as a weevil repellent. But the difficulties involved in using this product may mean it is not the best choice for you.
3. Ortho Tanglefoot Tree Care Kit
If your weevil problem is limited to the outside of your home, perhaps among the plants in your garden, you could consider this product as one of the best repellents to eliminate boll weevil. One of the weaknesses weevils have is that they can’t fly. To get from one plant to another, and to invade your home or garden in the first place, they need to crawl. So if you can isolate the plants you want to protect, chances are good that you will be able to keep them free of the damage that weevils can cause.
The idea behind Ortho Tanglefoot is simple. This product is a wide band of paper tape with a sticky coating. You wrap the tape around the trunk of a tree or the stem of a shrub. When insects like weevils attempt to climb up the plant, they either turn back when they realize they can’t get past the tape, or they become stuck in the sticky surface and die there. Either way, the plant is protected. And it doesn’t just work on weevils, either. Ortho Tanglefoot will protect your plants from any bugs that can’t fly and have to crawl up a plant’s stem to attack the leaves. This product could provide a solution to a number of different insect problems in your garden.
This product is not perfect, however. Some users report difficulty in using it. Because the tape is designed to be sticky, it can be tricky to apply. Also, it is important to ensure that the tape sits tight around the stem of the plant. If there is any gap between the plant’s stem and the tape, weevils and other insects will simply crawl under it and will still be able to attack your plants.
As the tape becomes filled with insects and exposed to the elements, its stickiness will start to diminish. You may find that you need to replace the tape around your plants on a regular basis to maintain its stickiness. Care should most definitely be exercised when using this product. But when used correctly, Ortho Tanglefoot can be a very useful weapon in the battle against weevils.
4. Tangle-Trap Brush-On Sticky Trap
Tangle-Trap works on the same principle as Ortho Tanglefoot tape. Using a sticky substance applied around the stem of the plants you want to protect, it helps to prevent weevils from climbing up to their food source higher in the plant.
The main difference between this product and the Ortho tape is that this comes as a liquid which you paint on to the stem of the plant. This can be very helpful when the plants that you are trying to protect are not trees, but smaller plants like rose bushes and strawberries. Instead of fiddling with small sections of tape, you can simply dip a brush into this sticky substance and paint it right on to the plant itself. Just make sure that you go all the way around the stem of the plant. If you leave an area unprotected, the weevils may find it and bypass your attempts to trap them.
The tin has a brush applicator inside the lid, meaning that this product is ready to use from the moment you receive it. It is best to be careful with this product, though, and keep it out of the reach of children. The glue is extremely sticky and can be difficult to get off. Also, as the season goes on and the glue traps more and more weevils and other insects, you may find it unsightly to have a ring of dead bugs around the stems of your plants. Unlike the Ortho Tanglefoot tape, this product is not easy to remove once you no longer need it.
5. Eco-Defense Organic Pest Control Spray
This product is easy to use a handheld spray bottle. It is claimed to be effective on a wide variety of household pests, including weevils. Best of all, this is not a broad spectrum insecticide – at least not in the traditional sense. This product claims to be derived from all natural ingredients, making it safe to use anywhere in the house. It leaves no offensive odor after use and will not contaminate the food in your kitchen or the plants in your garden.
Eco-Defense Organic Home Pest Control Spray can be used indoors or outside. This means it may be useful against a wide variety of weevil problems. Not only does this product kill weevils on contact, but it also provides a long-lasting repellent effect to keep the weevils away long after it has been sprayed. Outdoors, it may be necessary to apply this product repeatedly, since its effectiveness will be reduced by rain.
Online, reviews of Eco-Defense Organic Home Pest Control Spray are mostly very positive. The product seems to be based on peppermint oil, which is known to repel a wide variety of pest species. The lack of any offensive smell to this product and its safety to use around children and pets are its main selling features.
One of the major downside users report is the cost of this product. At around $20 USD for a fairly small bottle, it is one of the more expensive options available. But if you’re looking for the best repellents to eliminate boll weevil, it may well be worth giving this eco-friendly spray a try.
6. Wondercide Natural Outdoor Pest Control Spray
Have you ever noticed that cedar trees never seem to suffer from insect infestations? Maybe you haven’t. But it’s long been known that the oil cedar trees produce has powerful insecticidal properties while being completely non-toxic.
Wondercide Natural Outdoor Pest Control Spray uses cedar oil as its active ingredient. This makes it perfectly safe to use, even on plants that you intend to eat yourself, while still being effective against weevils. Weevils are known to be repelled by the smell of cedar oil, so any weevils that aren’t killed on contact by this spray will be less likely to invade your garden on their hunt for plants to consume.
This product is designed for large scale application. It comes in a bottle which attached to the end of a water hose and automatically mixes the product with the water before releasing it from the nozzle. In this way, you can effectively treat large areas of your garden in very little time. And with no offensive smell or dangerous pesticide from this product, you don’t need to worry about evacuating the area following the spray.
Online reviews for this product are generally very positive. Its main weakness appears to be a lack of effectiveness against flying insects such as gnats. Luckily, weevils don’t fly. They have to crawl to get around, and so this product has been found to be very effective, not only at killing bugs, but as a repellent for weevils. If you are finding large numbers of weevils in your garden, or seeing the tell-tale signs of damage to your plants that shows that weevils have colonized your property, this spray can provide a quick and effective solution that won’t harm the environment or your family.
When it comes to the best repellent to eliminate boll weevils, it’s a good idea to do your research carefully. The best method to use will depend on your own unique circumstances. Some products can only be used inside the home, while others can only be used outdoors, and still others can do both. Some work on all types of weevils and other bugs, while others are more targeted to specific species. As always with pest control, knowledge is your best weapon. It is quite possible that a product others found very useful won’t work for you. And conversely, what others say is useless might be exactly the right product to use in your case. The best approach may turn out to be one which utilizes multiple methods, including pesticides, traps, physical barriers and non-toxic sprays. An approach like this ensures that you are targeting your weevil infestation from multiple angles at the same time, and this helps to decrease the likelihood that you will miss something important.
Ultimately, how you choose to approach your weevil problem is up to you. But hopefully, this buying guide has been helpful in showing you some of the wide variety of products that are out there to help to eradicate boll weevils. Good luck in your search, and remember: no matter what product you choose to use, make sure you always read the label! Improper use of products, even non-toxic ones like physical barriers, can not only be ineffective at getting rid of weevils but can end up creating more problems for you and your family.